First timers in Taranaki

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2 years 1 month ago #551445 by Hazza
Hi all,

My wife and I are I the process of buying a couple of acres in taranaki (just waiting on the subdivision to be finalized and someone to buy our current house for the right price). We both cant wait, but with a run down house to renovate and the nee lifestyle to adjust to we sure are going to be busy.

So far we have only visited the block once, thanks to covid and the current tenants still being there, but hopefully will be back for a second look this week.

We are lucky to have plenty of good friends on lifestyle blocks to help us out and lend us equipment, but still the list of things we want and need is getting longer and longer and on sure is not yet complete. I thought I had finished it 3 times and have now decided that it's open ended list. It currently goes from luxury items like a quad to necessities like an axe to farm staples like a rain guage.

Have enjoyed asking people what their must have lifestyle block items are, have had some great answers including a good shed, fencing equipment and supplies, a trailer, good water supply and pressure and teenage boys to boss around.

We are looking at running some chickens, calves, sheep as well as an orchard and vege garden, although I think we will ease our way into it with the animals. Or maybe not, will see how it all goes. I also want to plant some pines for growing xmas trres, which is a family joke that's gotten out of hand and now I have to do it.

Anyway just wanted to say hi as I'm going to be lurking around the forums. If you want let me know what your most important tool is on the block we will see if I have it on the list.

And would also love to hear what you think is important to get done early when you move onto a block. Not planting fruit trees was our main regret at our current house so we'll be onto that early once we have moved.

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2 years 1 month ago #551446 by Hazza
Replied by Hazza on topic First timers in Taranaki
A front load washing machine also came up as essential when you'rr on you own water supply.

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2 years 1 month ago #551452 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic First timers in Taranaki
If you plan to have some sheep or stock on the small farm, a set of yards are essential, even if it's so you can handle animals safely if you need to call the vet.
Good luck with your new venture and give yourself time to see how the seasons go and how these affect, the land, and that precious water supply.
And, welcome to the site.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
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2 years 1 month ago #551455 by Hazza
Replied by Hazza on topic First timers in Taranaki
Cheers that’s good to know, the yards will become part of the neighbours so will whip some up.

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2 years 1 month ago #551460 by Anakei
Replied by Anakei on topic First timers in Taranaki
Chickens are a good start as your first livestock. If you make a movable run the same size as your veggie beds you can utilise them to clear the beds ready for you to dig over and plant. Also good for cleaning up at the end of the season. In the autumn we move the chooks into the run and put them on a bed for about 3 or 4 weeks, then move them on to the next one and mulch the previous bed to stop the weeds coming back and it's all ready to plant in the spring.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener
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2 years 1 month ago #551462 by Hazza
Replied by Hazza on topic First timers in Taranaki
Chickens are high on the agenda, and we will probably wait until spring to get sheep lambs and calves, althoughI am also considering getting a pregnant ewe, but we will see. Sounds like my wife has a hook up for orphan lambs so may wait and let the neighbours graze the paddocks until then. So many decisions to make.

I do like the idea of movable runs for the vege gardens, I'm guessing you have a permanent coop and then put the chickens in the runs during the day with a bit of shelter and then back to the coop at night?

A previous owner has fenced off the area above the septic that we were thinking about using for a run, but then again we might just drop that fence, Its the only septic tank I've ever seen fenced off. The current owners said it was probably because the old owner was running Bulls.

Also to avoid confusing the current owners have only owned it for a few weeks, they are subdividing and building their own house and selling us the current one.

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2 years 1 month ago #551466 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic First timers in Taranaki
What is the water supply situation, do you share a bore with other owner? What is a couple of acres? I would stick with sheep and get the self shedding kind or you will be chasing around trying to get them shorn. Probably the septic tank area was fenced off as this sometimes is a requirement of the council. Find out when tank was last cleaned out, if it's 5 years+, get it done soon.
You may qualify for a grant to help with the cost of upgrading the insulation in the house, check out Warmer Kiwi Homes.
good luck and welcome.....

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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2 years 1 month ago #551470 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic First timers in Taranaki
Hi Hazza and welcome to the site :)

I've been following this thread to see where it would go but Tony beat me to it with one glaring question. You are talking about a "couple" of acres on one hand, and running calves, sheep and lambs on the other. So how big is your "couple" of acres?

For me, a couple of anything is two, a few is anything above that. So assuming that you really do only have two acres and that the house, vegetable garden and orchard are going to be on this, your land has now been reduced considerably, possibly to 1.5 to 1.75 acres. That is not going to be anywhere enough to run the number of stock that you seem to be talking about.

My advice to you would be to get your purchase finalised, the house sorted, vege. garden and orchard sorted and a few chooks and then get some input on what to do with the remaining land - I suspect it won't carry as much as you think.

I also agree with Tony, what is your water supply going to be? It has to be stable 12/12.

Going country can be a great way of life but there is more to it that meets the eye - and I mean that literally. Don't walk before you can crawl, take it slowly and learn as you go. I wish you all the very best with your venture.

Cheers,
Ronnie
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2 years 1 month ago #551473 by Hazza
Replied by Hazza on topic First timers in Taranaki
I knew stocking rates would come up sooner or later.

The house hasn't been subdivided yet, but we are looking at 2 acres. The current house footprint a 1/4 acre but we may well expand that.

Local advice is that the area will feed a couple of sheep and calves with minimum supplementary feed. We are fairly drought resistant here (although the trend seems to see this worsening) but as you advised we are planning on easing ourselves into it rather than stocking it up from the get go.

The sheep vs beef debate is another interesting one, that certainly seems polarising among lifestylers. from what i can tell sheep are more work (shearing and drenching etc) but can be easily processed at home, beef easier to raise but then you have to pay to butcher them. and both camps say the other are harder to fence in but surely a good fence will keep either in. we eat more beef in our house though so maybe that will be the decider.

The water is another good point, the house has its own supply from the roof, while the farm has a separate supply of bore and roof water from a separate shed. So i will need to find out what the arrangement will be after the subdivision. we have been advised to get another 25 or 30k L tank if we have the money for it, so that may well be on the cards.

Cheers for the insulation advice too, we looked into that for our current house and didn't end up going for the grant. I cant quite remember why.

We are also going back through the house this week to have a second look, so we can also talk to the owners about extra land then and look at sensible things like water tank size and bore sharing and the last septic clean out etc. There are some communications challenges with the previous owners so might struggle to get good answers, but worth asking none the less.

And cheers for all the helpful answers so far, keep up the good work.

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2 years 1 month ago #551475 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic First timers in Taranaki
sounds like you are making good progress! Lots of things to think about. I seriously doubt you have the land or facilities to run cattle. Once you start feeding them supplements, the maths don't work out so good. We made our last lamb into mince and you can't tell its not beef that way.
I am not a lawyer but I strongly advise you to write down all the questions you might want to ask the seller. You don't have to give them a list, but after you have run over all the questions, send them a letter/email confirming your understanding of their answers. This carries a lot of weight in court!
Try not to share a bore, it's a recipe for future misunderstandings. Anyway, the council will most likely want some assurance re potable water as part of the subdivision application. Same thing with any easements or right of ways, make sure you fully understand what you are going to end up with and include any queries in your letter.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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2 years 1 month ago #551477 by Hazza
Replied by Hazza on topic First timers in Taranaki
It will be good to get some stuff in writing. We are buying it off friends, and as strange as it sounds it makes it harder to negotiate and communicate it all because any given conversation may happen between either of them and my wife or I. That and no one wants to stick it to the other side.

We are actually going to go visit again this week with all of us and have a walk around the property and discuss boundaries etc. because they have only owned it for a short while and never lived in the house they probably wont be able to answer much about that, but the land should be a different story as that's what they actually wanted as they are building a new house.

The more I think about the water supply the more i think we will end up with a second tank, the current one is underground so will have to try and get a measure of it when I'm there next. Locally most people collect rainwater rather than bore from what I can gather, but will double check. i know a few of my mates are on town supply on their blocks so my data samples may be off regarding water.

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